I recently received a new ballistics program for my computer. Usually in
an article such as this, when testing any new product, I will go through a lot
of details first, then offer my opinion to the readers. This time, however,
I am going to do it entirely backwards. I want to state right from the start
that I am very impressed with the ballistics program from Barnes and all that it
has to offer for shooters, whether they load their own ammo or not.
The program is called Barnes Ballistics 2.0, and is produced and marketed by
the same Barnes Bullets company that produces fine varmint and big game
bullets in American Fork, Utah.
A major aspect of Barnes' program that impressed me is the ease of use to a
novice computer user, such as myself. My little brother and webmaster, Boge,
is extremely knowledgeable in the building, performance, and use of a
PC, but I border on computer illiteracy. My point here is that if I can use this
program, anyone can. The program is easy to download and easy to use.
The information provided by this ballistics program is absolutely astounding. After
using it for awhile, I have come to the conclusion that there is no information
that this program does not provide. If you want to know how many inches a
45-70 bullet drops at two miles, you got it. If you need to know how far to lead a
running deer at 400 yards, the program can tell you. It does not, however, tell
you that you shouldn't be shooting at a running deer at 400 yards. It is not there
for advice on how to live your life, but if you want any, and I mean any,
information on the flight of a bullet, this is your baby!
The program contains a databank on all Barnes bullets, as would be expected, but also works with any bullet
of any manufacturer. You can input the data of your favorite bullet, and the
program will calculate the results. It will also store the information on your guns
in the databank, for easy use and referral later.
Just to mention a few of the calculations that the program will make for you, look
at the following list, and it is by no means complete:
Point blank range
Lead on a moving target
Energy remaining at any range
Bullet drop at any range
Wind deflection at any range
Effects of temperature
Effects of altitude
Effects of shooting up or down hill
Time of flight
Velocity at any range
By "any range", I mean at one yard or one mile. Or two miles. Or anywhere between. If you prefer meters
to yards, it will also function with the metric system. If you've ever stared at
a distant object and wondered how long it would take for your old 30-30
bullet to get there, the program will tell you.
Many people do not realize the effect of a strong crosswind, or even a mild one,
but it makes a significant difference as to where your bullet will land out there
where the target is standing.
This program also sheds a lot of light on the subject of bullet shape. The
difference in the trajectory of a boat-tail spitzer and a roundnose bullet can be
important. With this Barnes program, there is no need to guess.
Most modern rifles can benefit greatly by a 225 yard zero as opposed to a 100 yard zero, but most shooters do
not have access to that long of a range to sight in. With the program, the data
is provided for you. It will tell you how high to set the crosshair at one hundred
yards to be dead on at two hundred,....or three hundred,....or five hundred and sixty-two. It doesn't
As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am impressed. I could go on
about the uses and advantages of this invaluable program to reloaders,
target shooters, and hunters, but you get the idea.
If you would like to try this program, you can download a trial version for free off
of Barnes' website, www.barnesbullets.com.
That's right, for free. If you like the program, and would like to keep it, just call Barnes at:
1-800-574-9200 and they will issue you a number to retain the program. The
cost is $49.95. I have other ballistics programs on my computer that cost
much more, but do not perform as well as the Barnes Ballistics 2.0. I like it.
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